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STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE: RECORDINGS FROM THE FIELD

By Robert M. Press / October 27, 1994



BANJUL, GAMBIA

* The authentic drum recordings from Village Pulse include:

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Tabala Wolof: Sufi drumming of Senegal, performed with several tuned wooden kettle drums with cow-skin heads, features Boubacar Diagne, a seventh-generation Sufi drummer. The drummers often strike the edge of their drums with their sticks, producing a rich clicking sound.

Mamadou Ly: The only recording of Mandinka drum master Ly except an out-of-distribution one made by the national Ballet of Senegal in 1972. One number traditionally accompanies wrestling; others are used at dances or weddings; and one is for use during female circumcision - a highly controversial practice still widely performed among the Mandinka.

Sabar Wolof: Dance drumming of Senegal, featuring Mapathe' Dip, is by far the liveliest of the three. The energetic rhythms accompany women who dance for a few seconds each. Five to seven drums, called sabar, are played with one hand and a long whiplike stick on mahogany drums with goat-skin heads.